Florida jury convicts 6 over Eastern European prostitution ring

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 7:53 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A federal jury in Orlando convicted six people on conspiracy charges on Tuesday linked to what prosecutors called an Eastern European prostitution ring accused of importing foreign sex workers into the United States, federal prosecutors said.

The six were among 11 people were charged in the conspiracy who went on trial in October. Five were acquitted.

Prosecutors had said the ring posted sexually provocative advertisements for massages on Craigslist and other websites, and provided sexual services in central Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts, the indictment said.

The six found guilty were Tatiana Belinschi, 26, of Moldova; Alexandr Postica, 25, of Moldova; Saida Babaeva, 29, of Russia; Aleksandra Liubina, 24, of Russia; Natalia Fedorova, 24, of Russia; and Alina Priadko, 25, of Ukraine. Prosecutors said they were in the country illegally.

The group were convicted on 18 of 19 charges filed against them including conspiracy, traveling in interstate and foreign commerce to promote a prostitution business, and using facilities of interstate commerce to promote a prostitution business, prosecutors said.

Sentencing is scheduled for February.

The indicted alleged ringleader Roman Caraiman, 24, of Moldova, remains a fugitive.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)